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About 25% of HealthCare.gov Applications Have Errors

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the depends-how-serious-they-are dept.

Bug 157

itwbennett writes "An estimated one in four user applications sent from HealthCare.gov to insurance providers have errors introduced by the website, an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said during a press briefing Friday. The errors include missing forms, duplicate forms and incorrect information in the applications, such as wrong information about an applicant's marital status, said Julie Bataille, communications director for HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). While the software bugs leading to the errors have largely been fixed, as many as 10 percent of insurance applications may still have errors and consumers who have used HealthCare.gov to buy insurance and have concerns that their applications haven't been processed or have errors should contact their insurers, Bataille said."

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Human error (-1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 8 months ago | (#45625669)

So basically, end user error is now counted as the website's problem? When did this start becoming common practice?

Re:Human error (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625685)

Well, the numbers are meaningless without context. What is the percentage of normal insurance forms that have errors on them?

Re:Human error (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#45625715)

An estimated one in four user applications sent from HealthCare.gov to insurance providers have errors introduced by the website

Re:Human error (0)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45626471)

That is true.

Unfortunately for those bitching about the website the error-rate the article's talking about is entirely from the pre-relaunch period. The data they have on the post-relaunch website is a 0.77% error rate.

Re:Human error (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#45627235)

The 25% error rate in so-called 834 transmissions is a "preliminary" estimate of the website's performance between its launch Oct. 1 and Nov. 30

0.77% is just for the past week.

Re:Human error (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627853)

The relaunch was on Saturday November 30th. It's Saturday December 7th. The entire post-relaunch period is last week.

This article is like bitching about how terrible Windows 3.11 was the week after MS launched Windows 95. No shit 8 days ago Windows sucked, that's why they re-did the damn thing.

Re:Human error (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45628125)

I still think the whole thing is stupid. Everyone should be covered automatically by a standard plan and not have to fill up stupid forms on some stupid system. All that BS just increases costs and pointless work.

And the reason you have this stupidity is too many people are too stupid, greedy and selfish; and didn't want to pay for other people. Too stupid to realize that they were already paying anyway, but in very inefficient ways - ER, prison healthcare.

Maybe it's less stupid now, but it's still stupid. And if more US people realize this, perhaps they may one day get a better system.

Re:Human error (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#45625719)

It's my understanding that this is happening with no user error at all. It's as if they load all the information into a database then when you select a plan, it retrieves the information and places what it thinks it needs on the forms it thinks it needs and that is where the errors are occurring. So it would actually be the website's problem as it attempts to collect the information and place it into the application forms as needed and failing there.

Re: Human error (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 8 months ago | (#45625737)

Strange, TFA as well as the summary seem to imply that the users are entering faulty information into the forms or failing to enter any information into some forms, and that is what is causing the problems.

Re: Human error (5, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#45625757)

An estimated one in four user applications sent from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' HealthCare.gov to insurance providers have errors introduced by the website,

Introduced by the website seems to imply they are because of the website. Both the article and summery say that.

Now from what I have been told, you don't fill out specific forms. You enter specific information into the website and it fills the forms out for you based on the plans you pick. It is supposed to stop you from filling forms out incorrectly or getting confused on wording and so on. It also allows you to do direct comparisons without having to fill 20 forms out for 10 different providers offering 2 plans each.

Re: Human error (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 8 months ago | (#45625769)

Oh, my mistake then. I was under the impression that the end users filled out forms on the website, and were missing some or incorrectly filling them out, leading to an error.

Re: Human error (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#45625923)

Oh, my mistake then.

"If you like your mistake, you can keep it."

Obamacare was rushed out, without any testing, and it's a new application for them. Of course it will have all the hallmarks of a version 1.0 release . . . like plenty of errors. Most wise IT folks always wait for the second or third release of a product before using it.

Except with Obamacare, it's the law that you have to use the 1.0 buggy release.

Re: Human error (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 8 months ago | (#45625939)

It's not even v1.0 yet. It's still in alpha stage at best!

Re: Human error (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 8 months ago | (#45626327)

Delta. Remember, there's an entire back end that hasn't even hit testing.

Re: Human error (1)

jbengt (874751) | about 8 months ago | (#45626409)

Except with Obamacare, it's the law that you have to use the 1.0 buggy release.

It seems like you are conflating the website with the law. You do have to get insurance, but you do not have to use the website.

Re: Human error (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | about 8 months ago | (#45627251)

Except with Obamacare, it's the law that you have to use the 1.0 buggy release.

It seems like you are conflating the website with the law. You do have to get insurance, but you do not have to use the website.

If you are entitled to a subsidy, the website is the only way to get it. Direct applications to insurers won't receive one.

Re: Human error (0)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45626689)

The problem with the article isn't that the error rate it mentions wasn't a huge problem, it's that it's a huge problem Obama's apparently fixed. To quote the article on the post-relaunch website:

The site performed well this week, Bataille said. The site had no unscheduled down time and its page error rate was .77%, about the same as the past few weeks. Page load times were below one second.

There's no info in the article saying Bataille is lying, and you'd think if 10% of insurance applications were missing forms/had duplicates/etc. somebody would mention it.

One of the things I hate about America is that the pols never actually do anything terribly controversial. In 2008 US Health system had the British NHS for veterans, a typical Northern European system for Federal employees and Massachusetts residents, Canadian medicare for seniors (and yes, they're both called Medicare), and multiple purely American private health insurance systems (a small group market, a large group market, an individual market, hi-rick pools, and 50 slightly different state versions of each). Given that finance people run most of these systems, and finance people's major life-goal is revenue maximization, you had a whole lot of administrative costs (aka: finance people), virtually no cost controls, and nobody who thought about the situation for more then two seconds was surprised that a) the Federal government spent more per capita on healthcare then governments that actually cover everyone, b) many people were not covered (or had shitty coverage), and c) costs were increasing at ridiculous rates. Firing finance people and making Doctors the key decision-makers wouldn't help much because Doctors are convinced that everyone in their sector should make as much as a comparatively educated finance weenie on Wall Street, which means they don;t say know when the ridiculously overpaid specialist demands a $50k raise. To fix the mess you'd either need to remove most of the sources of finance people, or replace the finance people entirely with government bureaucrats who think that nobody should break $200k in base salary because the CEO (ie: President Obama) only make $400k and the Board of Directors (aka Congress) only make $174k.

So Obama had a fairly huge problem to solve. People who needed and wanted insurance weren't getting it, sometimes because they were poor but not always (only a fool agrees to insure someone whose breast cancer is in remission for the sticker price), many of the ones who were getting it were getting shitty insurance, and the finance weenies running the various systems were bleeding the country dry. But he can't get rid of most of the system because this is America. The VA, and Medicare are untouchable (unless they want more money). Large group policies from big employers are untouchable because the majority of the country uses them and would totally freak out if they changed even a smidgen. So Obama decided to rationalize the small group and individual markets, which guts the majority of income for finance weenies (prior to Obamacare it was possible for non-medical costs in those plans to be 40%, that means finance weenies got 40% of your premiums, now that's capped at 20%). But to do that he had to eliminate the existing markets, and to eliminate the breast-cancer-survivor problem he had to make insurance mandatory.

As a result we've got health cost increases in the relatively reasonable sub-10% range, the website has an error rate of under 1% so by this time next year almost everyone will have reasonably priced comprehensive insurance, and pretty much the only thing Obama had to give up for it was his current image.

Re: Human error (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625901)

Strange, TFA as well as the summary seem to imply that the users are entering faulty information into the forms or failing to enter any information into some forms, and that is what is causing the problems.

Failed reading comprehension in elementary/primary school didn't you? The summary and article both state the erroers have been caused by the Healthcare.gov system not the health insurance applicants.

Re: Human error (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626777)

They're not actually talking about human data entry errors. The problem is with the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) documents used to communicate between sysmems. "834" is an EDI document type related to the health care industry. My current gig (no, not health care) has me dealing with EDI quite frequently. It's difficult to get right. Even getting your hands on the standards for a particular documentation type, vendors rarely follow the standards, and commercial libraries for mapping data in and out of EDI format mostly suck.

Re:Human error (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#45628021)

It's my understanding that this is happening with no user error at all.

Now you know that's not true. The article and summary specifically make it clear that bad information is being input by users

Re:Human error (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#45625733)

I don't think users can make the system to send duplicate form pages.

problem is with the way it sends the info to the insurers.. it's like faxing them over email.

oh and a fairy simple fix would have been while at it to overhaul the whole system. why? so that it doesn't matter to the "basic care for everyone rates" at all what your marital status is or if you were born in compton. for extra insurances you could then visit the insurers.. but hey,if it's worth being proud of a country where it matters into which family you were born then fuck it I suppose - because that's what private healthcare does.

Re:Human error (-1, Troll)

gtall (79522) | about 8 months ago | (#45625931)

Now, now. In the past, the health insurance companies were there to supply the Death Panels which decide who and to what extent the proles get covered. This prevented the Tea Party from enabling the Federal Government to provide the same service and thus giving the Tea Party the necessary fig leaves to cover their intellectual nakedness. Now that the insurance companies are being told what to provide (to some extent) and not to lock out people with prior conditions, one must ask what function the insurance companies are really providing here. One must also ask what service the Tea Party is providing and shouldn't both be put out of our misery.

The health insurance companies and the Tea Party are more or less barnacles on the good ship America.

Re:Human error (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625965)

You are a complete moron. The guy made a comment about the insurance being different from neighborhood or zip code to zip code and here you inject your fucked up political diatribe in order to impress some ideology you revere. Well, you are living a fallacy off in la la land if you honestly believe anything you just said and weren't trolling.

Get a fucking clue or shut the hell up.

Re:Human error (2, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45626375)

what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. ~

Re:Human error (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627291)

The problem with a) Checks and Balances, b) powerful individual congressman, and c) a massively diverse country is that major overhauls of entire policy areas are virtually impossible.

For example let's say you just want to get Federal per capita health spending below Canada's, because the federal government in Canada is the only spending on healthcare which should be (in theory) a lot cheaper then the various systems our Federal government uses to insure less then half of the country. That probably requires giving people on the VA system the same insurance options as over-65s. But if you do that a lot of veterans are gonna worry that their care will get worse because VA-System enrollees are happier then medicare enrollees. Some over-65s will freak out because at that age group there is a very vocal cohort of People Who Hate Change On Principle. Which means some Congressman will bring up questions, because it is pretty much his entire job to bring up questions like that, and the rest of Congress will go along with him because a) Seniors always vote, and b) no politician wants to be the guy accused of screwing veterans. Cue Congressional Check of Presidential proposal.

If you overhauled the private insurance system it would be even worse because most Americans a) receive health insurance from their employers, and are b) convinced that it is not only above-average when compared to other employer plans, it is also better then all other possible options. When Clinton tried that shit it didn't even get past Committee.

Thus you have Obamacare, which tries to merge several disparate insurance markets (Congressional healthcare, the Individual Market, and Hi-Risk Pools) nobody was particularly attached to. It could in the future include several markets that some users (but under half) like -- Medicaid, the Small Group market -- with an option that people like but is basically already Obamacare (Federal Employees already use Exchanges similar to to healthcare.gov).

If you want a government system that runs like an engineer would want a government to run you probably need to steal the Westminster System used by the UK, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, etc. There's one guy. He's Prime Minister. He's in charge or he isn't. If he disagrees with you, tough. Your choices are a) convince Parliament to fire him and force new elections, or b) wait for new elections. This whole Obama-spends-15-months-minorly-reforming-healthcare-then-spends-40-arguing-with-Republicans-about-it just doesn't happen. There's no bribes to be extracted in the vote-to-call-the question in the Senate. There's no filibuster. There's no endless committee hearings where powerful people posture for the camera. There's no such thing as a Westminster-system pol who supports part of the PM's program and votes against the rest.

Hell, in Canada Parliament is even less of a check on the government then I've implied. You can't run for election as an MP unless your party leader signs your nomination papers, and if you're in government that's the Prime Minister.

Re:Human error (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625917)

What the fuck is your malfunction you idiot? Can't you read? ... introduced by the website ...

An internal investigation (0)

game kid (805301) | about 8 months ago | (#45625671)

An internal investigation into the magical healthcare.gov form errors ended when they noticed several changes attributed to "Yiuf, Crazy".

Leave it to a nigger... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625691)

`... to nigger up the health care system.

Thanks a lot for voting for the nigger, you fucktards.

But hey! At least he does not wear "magic underwear!!!!" lolollolololololo And he has never made a profit... he actually HATES people who make money, so it's understandable that you losers would have wood for him.

Re:Leave it to a nigger... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625743)

That's true. He has never hired one person, never cut one paycheck, never produced anything except hot air, and never done anything in his fuckin' life except flap his jaws and smoke dope, and here he is, telling the producers of the world what to do.

Marvelous.

If you like your errors (5, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 8 months ago | (#45625701)

You can keep your errors.

Period.

Data In, Garbage Out (4, Informative)

davide marney (231845) | about 8 months ago | (#45625741)

By this point, I think people generally understand that Healthcare.gov is to be avoided if at all possible. This system of systems is a monster (reportedly 500 million lines of code at 60-70% completion), and it's probably too big to test -- testing might take longer than it took to write, i.e., the QA death spiral.

The only reason to use the exchange is to get a subsidy. If you are a normal taxpayer who won't qualify for one, go off-exchange.

Or, join a religious health care pool, which are medical cost-sharing plans that are exempt from the law.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625853)

No it actually works. I'm coming off the individual market and saving a ton of money through the exchange. It was messed up at first but now it's a lot better.

and when you say "normal" taxpayer......

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (0)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 8 months ago | (#45626339)

Bullshit. Simple bullshit.

Yeah, right. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626349)

You fucking Obamaphiles could at least try to be original when shilling.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (3, Informative)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45626385)

really?because I am going to have to pay 2X more for a plan that is about 1/2 as good as what I had prior.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626483)

That is an interesting anecdote. My plan has no changes at all. Supposedly, the plans that are changing didn't cover a minimum amount of stuff. It can be argued that some people didn't want to have that coverage - but then again, those same people would be using the emergency room and having my taxes pay for it when their paltry coverage didn't cover their illness. They could be lying to us - but that is what we've been told. Having seen some of the choices people have made about "oh, I don't need much insurance as I never get sick" - I tend to believe what they told us.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45626897)

true In some cases that seem to be the norm, In my case, I will have a higher deductible a lower max payment and a higher copay then I have now. I am in NY so we actually have the local exchange vs the fed exchange. what I do have an issue with is the government telling me whats best for me. I dont know how you can believe the government when it seems as if every day we catch them in a new lie.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627361)

One thing I've noticed about the government is that it's the only sector where people routinely attribute lies from one bit of the sector to everyone else. In other words if the NSA lies about something people will say that the New York Health Exchange's credibility is shot, but if McDonald's does it everyone goes "at least Burger King is honest." This is remarkably silly because the NSA has nothing to do with New York state government, or healthcare; but if MickyD's thinks it can get away with a lie it's probably because BK is already doing that shit and nobody cares.

I suspect you'll ultimately get a better deal do to simple math: prior to Obamacare insurers could spend whatever they wanted on BS that isn't healthcare. In the small group and individual markets marketing/administration/etc. routinely gobbled up 30% of your health care dollar. Now they can't be quite that profligate. BS is capped at 20%. Therefore if you're sending them more money, most of that more money HAS to be spent on healthcare for somebody, and since you're getting older it's highly likely you will be that somebody soon enough.

What'll probably save you is that a plan like that sounds too good to be true, which probably means there was some "but" in the fine print which would allow them to drop your ass as soon as you got expensive.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45628507)

that is a possibility. but what I dont like is I now am FORCED to pay for terms that I dont agree with nor want. I as a male, do not want to pay for breast cancer screenings as one example. There is no reason I should be paying a higher rate due to services I will never use.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 8 months ago | (#45626647)

And I'm paying 250% more for inferior insurance, also on the individual market.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45626993)

Yes, Bartles, you are also taking a huge risk because the old insurance company could drop you anytime. And most likely, when they do drop you, you would have pre existing conditions at that point and found it impossible to get coverage at any price. Of course you were free to take such risk.

That is the problem talking about insurance based on anecdotes. Insurance is statistics, actuaries and collections. People like you who are willing to take the risk rake up bills that are denied by insurance companies. And half the people who file for bankruptcy due to medical costs, have had health insurance. Except the coverage was inadequate or was not renewed. And who picked up those costs my friend? It is us, who were in other plans, our premium went up because of people who were taking risks far beyond reasonable levels.

In the end, it would have been nice, if we could come up with a system that would saddle all costs of your bet going bad to you. But we don't have such a system. It would be nice, if the free market supporting Republicans came up with a system that would allow people to take such risks, and face the consequences when their bets go bad. But there is no political appetite for it. Yes, it is true, a large number of Republicans shouted "YES" when asked "should people without health insurance die if they get sick?" in the 2012 Republican primaries. But they are such a microscopic minority of even the Republican party. It is far easier to let the other guy go on stage and criticize the action.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625869)

By this point, I think people generally understand that Healthcare.gov is to be avoided if at all possible.

Uh, the enlightened voters tried that. About 5 years ago.

And apparently he didn't fuck up the country enough the first time around, so those of you voting based on everything but his performance gave him another chance to permanently fuck it up.

Guess you better Hope the government allows you to keep some Change to take the bus ride home, since you had to sell your car to afford the messiah's insurance.

And to every person out there who feels that a woman leading the country will magically make it all better and wants to vote for the vagina, perhaps you'll wise up about voting blindly now. It can get worse. We knew it would. About 5 years ago.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626157)

Run for office yourself if you're so bloody brilliant. It's harder than it looks.

Half a Billion Dollars In, Garbage Out (4, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 8 months ago | (#45626377)

This post is the best example of an apologist with no logic or facts for backup.

No. They awarded a known incompetent company with a record of bad projects with a non-compete contract. Then they paid them ONE HALF OF A BILLION DOLLARS for a shitty website and aren't asking for a fucking refund.

Re:Half a Billion Dollars In, Garbage Out (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45627053)

As the anonymous coward suggested, run for an office somewhere run something and then complain. It is a lot harder than it looks.

Re:Half a Billion Dollars In, Garbage Out (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627373)

You got a link to that $0.5 Billion cost?

Snopes.com just did a piece on the amount of spending on healthcare.gov, and said it was in $150 million range plus whatever they spent last month.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#45625945)

You can still get the service by calling in.

I will never do that however, because there's no way I'm giving the US federal government any of my medical information voluntarily. Though, they likely have it all already anyway.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627415)

You can still get the service by calling in.

I will never do that however, because there's no way I'm giving the US federal government any of my medical information voluntarily. Though, they likely have it all already anyway.

This isn't a traditional insurance application. Since insurers can't jack up your rates because you had a medical problem when you were 12 the website doesn't ask about your medical history. The medical info they ask for is limited to your age.

Which they already know, because that's on your Social Security records, your birth certificate, your driver's license, your income tax form, etc.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#45625949)

Just don't depend on actually getting any money out from the religious health care pools. Unlike actual insurance companies, they have no legal obligation to pay at all. They also tend to happily take your 'donation' each month, but when you actually need to make a claim they'll decide your behavior is too sinful and kick you out. The main insurance industry is quite dodgy enough when it comes to finding excuses to avoid paying out - religious 'cost sharing' agencies are even worse.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45626397)

Any citations? In my area the churchs tend to help the poor and needy (all denominations from buddist to christian as well) WAY more than the government does.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#45626999)

I can find some anecdotal horror stories, of course. But we both know anecdotes are worthless.

The best known of the pools is probably Medi-Share. From a website sympathetic to their position, http://christianpf.com/christian-health-insurance-alternative/ [christianpf.com]

- You must adhere to living a strict Biblical lifestyle in order to maintain your membership. Not doing so can get you expelled from the program and will likely nullify any claims you may have as well.
- 'For example, she told me a story of a member who was in a bad car accident requiring lots of medical work, but since the person was intoxicated when they got into the accident, the expense was not covered by Medi-Share.'

Roughly, they don't provide coverage for what they consider 'consequences of sin' - but define that quite broadly. I can't find the site any more, but I've read before of a person diagnosed with liver failure who medi-share wouldn't by out for - they judged his illness to be a consequence of excessive alcohol consumption. Similarily, they'll refuse to pay for pregnancy-related costs if the pregnancy is out of wedlock - and, while every parent likes to think their little angel of a daughter would never have premarital sex... teenagers do things like that. Similar again for smoking-related diseases - even if you quit smoking years ago, don't count on them to pay when you are diagnosed with lung cancer.

Also, I'd ignore the comments on that site. Given that every almost single one is heaping glowing praises upon the organisation, I'm guessing the site moderator has been selective in what gets through. No company can possibly be that perfect, religious or otherwise.

They are on the rise right now because, even though not considered legally insurance for most purposes, they do qualify under the new mandate - and, as they are very lightly regulated and don't cover routine checkups, they can be a lot cheaper than any conventional insurance provider. Thus a lot of people who were previously uninsured find Christian not-insurance to be the cheapest option.

If you just want the anecdotes and horror stories though, here's one:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/26/christian-medical-plans-pass-health-law-despite-consumer-complaints/ [foxnews.com]
That's from Fox News, so you'd imagine their bias to be in favor of the Christian not-insurance. If even they condemn it, you can be sure something is fishy.

Re:Data In, Garbage Out (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627511)

Really?

I live in an areas that has a mix of wealthy religious people of numerous faiths, and low-income people. The religious institutions around here do a lot of relatively cheap stuff that is easy to tell people about like soup kitchens, thanksgiving turkeys, and financial literacy classes. Raising $10k isn't hard for a faith group, using it to buy a bunch of turkeys is even easier, and it looks really good in the Parish Newsletter. But feeding those families all year is just no within their budget. The government does the shit that cost real money.

For example, WalMart is a madhouse early in the month because that's when the Feds fund the BridgeCard. Several times people in front of me have used WIC to pay for food, which is a real process. The BridgeCard is much simpler -- on the backend it has to be more complex then a debit card because it can only be used to pay for certain non-alcoholic food items, but to the end-used it's a debit card. Many of my neighbors are on section 8. Most of the ones who aren't are on the waiting list. Nobody talks about waiting lists for rental assistance programs from faith groups. Everyone has terrible teeth because Ohio medicaid has no dental coverage. No faith group has a dental office to cover the gap.

FUD in, FUD out (2)

DogDude (805747) | about 8 months ago | (#45626057)

By this point, I think people generally understand that Healthcare.gov is to be avoided if at all possible. This system of systems is a monster (reportedly 500 million lines of code at 60-70% completion), and it's probably too big to test -- testing might take longer than it took to write, i.e., the QA death spiral.

I fail to see what a large codebase has to do with end users using or not using it.

The only reason to use the exchange is to get a subsidy. If you are a normal taxpayer who won't qualify for one, go off-exchange.

Why wouldn't somebody want to compare plans and prices available off-exchange with those in the exchange, exactly?

Re:FUD in, FUD out (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 8 months ago | (#45626393)

I fail to see what a large codebase has to do with end users using or not using it.

It isn't completely written yet, much less tested. In other words it doesn't, and with that large of code base in this state won't, work (see IRS).

Why wouldn't somebody want to compare plans and prices available off-exchange with those in the exchange, exactly?

They're incorrect plan and price quotes? They make you enter your vitals before you can compare? Just two reasons off the top of my head.

Re:FUD in, FUD out (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 8 months ago | (#45626779)

It isn't completely written yet, much less tested. In other words it doesn't, and with that large of code base in this state won't, work (see IRS).

Who cares? People are still getting signed up for health insurance. Isn't that the whole point of this project?

They're incorrect plan and price quotes? They make you enter your vitals before you can compare? Just two reasons off the top of my head.

So instead of possibly getting incorrect (or correct information), it's a better idea to just continue not having health insurance? Really?

Re:FUD in, FUD out (1)

davide marney (231845) | about 8 months ago | (#45627651)

Going "off-exchange" doesn't mean not having health insurance, it means not using the exchange to buy health insurance. You can buy health insurance direct from insurance companies, but subsidies are only available via the exchange. Thus, if you don't need a subsidy, you don't need to risk using the exchange.

Compared to what? (2)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 8 months ago | (#45625749)

Is this after correcting against how many would have errors if they were filed directly? I'm willing to bet that direct applications contain a similar number of inaccuracies, so what's the news here?

Re:Compared to what? (3, Informative)

swb (14022) | about 8 months ago | (#45625861)

I've only had to fill out paper health care forms a couple of times, but it's really easy to see how those confusing monsters can be filled out erroneously by the form filler, and then of course there are the transcription problems when forms get computer entered, either by drones in a coding center or by HR people.

What's wrong with this in comparison though, is that when the end-user uses a web site you would assume there is error checking of form logic (ie, if I fill box A and B it should be able to tell if I need to fill out box C). There's still the problem of factual error by the user but that's harder to detect.

The problem here though seems to be the data stored is erroneous due to problems with the code, not due to user error.

Re:Compared to what? (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627567)

Keep in mind that in theory Healthcare.gov should be simpler then those monsters. This is because a) Healthcare.gov is not intended to be so confusing that people fuck it up (many "cheap" plans intentionally confuse people, take their premiums, and then throw them off as soon as they file a claim because the application was wrong), and b) it is not supposed to get any info from you except your age and address. The only other info it should need is income info, and in theory that's coming from the IRS.

That's probably why the site was relatively easy to get working in a month even tho a bunch of idiots fucked it up. If you read the article carefully you'll note that the post-relaunch error rate number is under 1%.

That's good since 50 pct of population are morons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625761)

And since it is done over the internet even more astounding that only 25 percent of these are fucked up beyond all recognition. Just like I am. Just like God is. Just like that web site is. If TV was the boob tube the internet is the no end of the tunnel pussy.

All I have to say (1)

will_die (586523) | about 8 months ago | (#45625791)

Better them than me. Talk about an ugly technical job.

save an eagle feed your cows beano (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625893)

never a better time to consult with momkind our spiritual centerpeace

Mission Accomplished... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625971)

I can picture the big white banner right now as we speak - "Mission Accomplished - Affordable Healthcare is Now Online".

Yeah, sure only a few billion down the toilet on a web site and kickbacks to key supporters, but its the same idea.

The only difference is that no liberal think tank is going to keep a tally on the impact of this debacle of a law.

Re:Mission Accomplished... (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45626463)

Two points:

1) This is a long-term program, not a short-term war. Social Security/Medicare/etc. all had some disasters at roll-out. Once the disasters were fixed the program started running and have kept running pretty much unchanged. OTOH, the whole point of winning a war is that the war ends. the government program funding said war gets to go away, and everyone goes home.

2) Don't worry. There are plenty of conservative think-tanks in DC. There're probably more conservative think-tanks then liberal ones because a) conservative activists don't want to work for anything but a think tank, a campaign, or the policy staff of a right-wing elected official (OTOH liberal activists will happily take jobs in Academia and/or the government) and b) conservative donors think that non-think-tank sources of info are biased against conservatives therefore they give the Heartland Institute big money donations.

As for the "kickbacks," you're quoting something that is totally made-up. The company that designed the website gave as much to the Romney as Obama.

They seem to have their priorities correct (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45626217)

The healthcare.gov website is being maligned more than it deserves to be. Buying healthcare is not going to be as easy as buying iTunes, or even booking hotels. Further it did not have the option of growing slowly with extensive beta period. How many years Gmail was in beta, don't we remember? Add to it the complexities of providing subsidy, that requires income verification, that requires ... And the majority of the users it targets are from the demographic that is least likely to be familiar with internet and least likely to be educated.

We don't have to excuse them, we can demand they anticipate these things and provide for it. They seems to have an idea of these issues, with their plans to create a cadre of "navigators" to help people with internet access and web site help. But the plan and law was heavily politicized, 36 states refused to set up their own exchanges and dumped all of them on the federal exchange. Millions of people who would have gone to medicaid are dumped into exchanges because they refused to expand medicaid.

No doubt there were self inflicted wounds. Politicians scared of people getting sticker shock, insisted on disabling the window shop and see full price option at roll out, That was the root cause of disaster. The first thing the "tech surge" did was to enable window shopping. It was enabled as early as Oct 15, I tested it then, They could not have done it that soon if it was fresh code. Window shopping was the original code, They just disabled the meddling by the politicians and went on the original code path.

Still they are doing it in the right order. Get people to commit to a plan before the dead line. Errors on the back end can be sorted out when they actually file claims,

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (5, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 8 months ago | (#45626425)

But the plan and law was heavily politicized

Yes sir, it was. Remember "We'll have to pass the law to see what's in it"? After that, every excuse is moot.

Half a billion dollars.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (-1, Flamebait)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45626527)

Half a billion dollars.

Drop in the bucket. Especially compared to the Iraq invasion, Afghan war, Medicare Part D, farm subsidies to millionaire farmers, bank bailout... At least here some 40 million Americans have a chance to get some healthcare. Where are those anti-abortion people who keep saying, " if it saves one child, one life it is worth it.."?

My only regret is, if we are going to face this level of intransigence and non-coopeation, we Dems should have rammed down a single payer or public option instead of this Republican plan of questionable constitutionality.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (-1, Troll)

GerryGilmore (663905) | about 8 months ago | (#45627525)

Typical - one isolated (and out of context) quote and you conserva-idiots are all done! No discussion of the broad issues of how to more effectively deliver health care (not insurance) to all American citizens. No realistic options ("but - sell insurance across state lines and tort reform! That's all the fixing it needs"), just soundbites and slogans. Sad....

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45627649)

Selling insurance across state lines is a good idea, but we should make sure it does not trigger a race to the bottom, companies shopping for lax enforcers.

Look at credit card companies, why are they all headquartered in Delaware? Why are they charging 40$ late fees and two cycle finance charges? Before the federal truth in lending and disclosure laws were enacted, how much they got away with? Basically Delaware is more interested in protecting their credit card company jobs rather than protecting your rights as a credit card consumer. If you really want to hear horror stories and abuse bordering in illegality, listen to the merchants. The Visa Mastercard duopoly is making the merchants pay the same commission whether the money is coming out of checking/saving accounts (debit cards) or via totally unsecured loans advanced by the credit card companies. This is where you would be with insurance across state lines without a standard comparable package and federal minimum standards. Now that they are there, thanks to ACA, there is no need to prohibit it. In fact federal government can set up a health insurance regulator and companies coming under that agency's jurisdiction should be able to sell in all fifty states.

Tort reform is unconnected to ACA. There is no reason to do tort reform and ACA.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (2)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#45626465)

But the plan and law was heavily politicized, 36 states refused to set up their own exchanges and dumped all of them on the federal exchange. Millions of people who would have gone to medicaid are dumped into exchanges because they refused to expand medicaid.

This is just a straightforward exercise of self-interest at the US state level. It's not the individual state's job to cover inadequacies in federal law or shoulder the costs for their implementation.

Still they are doing it in the right order. Get people to commit to a plan before the dead line. Errors on the back end can be sorted out when they actually file claims,

Can be != will be. It's worth noting here that filing a claim indicates that you will cost an insurance company money. If they then can find an error in your application that let's them selectively disqualify you after the fact, there would be considerable incentive to do so.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626667)

This is just a straightforward exercise of self-interest at the US state level. It's not the individual state's job to cover inadequacies in federal law or shoulder the costs for their implementation.

Which is why the US federal government is working hard to reduce individual freedoms, following suit of other civilized developed societies who have figured out that this whole self-interest thing just isn't really worth the hassle.

I think it's time you "self-interest" people wake up and realize that you're on the wrong side of civilization.

Now now, I'm not saying you have to change your beliefs and join the rest of civilization. I do not wish you harm or death for holding a different belief than the rest of civilization (though I know the more radical members of society will not be so kind). I'm just saying you are not on the side of civilization; the side that gets to stay where they are.

No, you're on the other side. You're the outcasts, the freaks, the people whom civilization rejects. You're the ones who will have to leave civilization and find a place for yourselves. You're like the old colonists who had to leave the Old World for the New. "But it's my home/country, those other people should move not me!". That's exactly the type of thinking you need to give up on. Your home/country doesn't love you the way you love it. In fact it tries very hard to abuse you. Drop the patriotism. Stop being a battered wife.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (1, Flamebait)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45626687)

No matter how flawed the law is, no matter how expensive it is going to be, no matter how many fumbles the administration makes, there is this huge hunger for healthcare by a very large section of America. Mostly poor, mostly concentrated on the Red states. Democrats are dangling this carrot in front of them. Republicans are squarely between this stampeding crowd and the carrot they are chasing.

But don't despair, Democrats fumbled by not ramming down single payer or medicare for all, that would have been much simpler to implement. You are going to see the Republicans threading the needle to switch their stand from "repeal" to "fix it". More and more employers are going to follow the lead of Walgreens and Sears. Give a fixed sum of money to their employees and get out of managing a group plan, as Walgreens and Sears have announced already. You will be shopping in the exchange and demanding ACA to be expanded in the coming years my friend. Churches are going to discover they could, for ridiculously small donations from their wealthier congregants, pay the premium for the poorer congregants and "lock" them into their church instead of the competing church. Fundamentally Christianity is socialistic in its ideals. It is an historic anomaly that Church is aligned with the capitalists and not marxists. It will get corrected eventually. Hospitals and providers are going to lobby their state governments to get their hands on the federal money by expanding medicare.

It is going to be very difficult for the Republicans to stand on the side lines and praying for the failure of the program. It ain't gonna happen.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45626787)

What? Flamebait? Pity, whoever modded it flamebait would not be able to post a follow up explaining why.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627617)

Still they are doing it in the right order. Get people to commit to a plan before the dead line. Errors on the back end can be sorted out when they actually file claims,

Can be != will be. It's worth noting here that filing a claim indicates that you will cost an insurance company money. If they then can find an error in your application that let's them selectively disqualify you after the fact, there would be considerable incentive to do so.

Two points:
1) This is just wrong on a financial level. There's actually a mechanism so that insurers who pay out more claims due to insuring higher cost customers get paid from the guys who benefited from having low-cost customers.

2) Healthcare.gov does not take any of your info but your age and address. They could dump you if you lie about which County you live in, but the whole "let's throw him off because he said he'd gotten the sniffles once and he'd gotten them twice" racket is now impossible.

In other words I humbly thank you for demonstrating why we needed ObamaCare in the first place.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45627233)

The healthcare.gov website is being maligned more than it deserves to be. Buying healthcare is not going to be as easy as buying iTunes, or even booking hotels.

You can't buy health care from healthcare.gov. They deal with health insurance, which is a completely different issue than health care.

I can go to any doctor or hospital and buy all the health care I desire without a shred of health insurance. I can also buy all the health insurance I desire and still not get the health care I want.

Quit conflating the two issues - they're entirely different and independent things. It's as ridiculous as thinking that the ability to buy auto insurance is the reason someone can acquire the car that they want.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45627309)

The healthcare.gov website is being maligned more than it deserves to be. Buying healthcare is not going to be as easy as buying iTunes, or even booking hotels. Further it did not have the option of growing slowly with extensive beta period. How many years Gmail was in beta, don't we remember?

How many years did Gmail report me to the IRS for not using it?

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (3, Interesting)

kesj (87284) | about 8 months ago | (#45627317)

According to the Boston Globe this morning, Massachusetts' (you know the state that was the model for the PPACA) Health Connector website has not enrolled a single person since it was revamped to support Obamacare at a cost of $69 million. The entire infrastructure to support the PPACA is apparently riddled with problems that impact not only healthcare.gov but the sites created by states that choose to implement their own. In Massachusetts, 100,000 people have been told their insurance which was in compliance with the state's Minimum Credible Coverage standard aren't good enough now and they need to choose a new health insurance through the non-functional site as the Governor Patrick's administration is not allowing them to remain on their existing policies.

Re:They seem to have their priorities correct (3, Informative)

davide marney (231845) | about 8 months ago | (#45627727)

Still they are doing it in the right order. Get people to commit to a plan before the dead line

I think you've missed the point about having a 25% error rate. That means 25% of the people who used the exchange will have thought they selected a plan, but in reality, they didn't. They may think they have insurance, but don't.

So, the correct order would be to do the backend first, which makes sure that people actually get insurance, then fix the pretty front end. Fixing the pretty front end first actually makes things worse because it increases the number of people who will be hurt by the errors.

My experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626247)

I tried to get coverage using the Healthcare.gov website. My state (NH) doesn't have its own site and I found a good on-market plan. I was about to submit my completed application, but noticed an error - the start and end dates were one day off, with it saying to start on 12/31/2013 and end 12/30/2014. Worrying about it, I called the healthcare.gov website help line, they refused to help saying I needed to talk to the insurance company. I tried calling the healthcare company and they confirmed it to be a mistake. I finally called up the healthcare.gov helpline saying I'd like the "advance team" to delete my application, assuming it might be something that could be fixed on a new application, something I now see as a big mistake. I'm now no longer able to login, with it not even giving me an error, just won't login.

Not enough info to judge... (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45626399)

Part of the 25% error rate is apparently the Feds double-sending a form. That's not a good thing, but it's not like the insurer can't do it's job just because it has two identical copies of one of your forms. If the forms are different, and include important info, the double-copies could be a huge problem, but the article doesn't give us any way to tell how many of these 25% error are actually errors vs. how many are conservatives in the insurance industry bitching that their guy got whipped in November of 2012.

More importantly the data is old. There were 834 errors in forms sent prior to the big relaunch, which works out to a 25% error rate, and indicates that roughly 3,336 actually managed to get the website to tell them it worked in October/November; but pretty much the entire reason we had a relaunch was that the site sucked. The current error rate in the article is 0.77%. It's probable that number will go up, as most of that actual humans who've used the site haven't sen the copies of the forms sent to the insurance companies yet, maybe by an order of magnitude (ie: 8% error rate), but so far the relaunched website seems to be doing OK.

Don't use the website (3, Informative)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 8 months ago | (#45626455)

I waited until the last minute because 'fuck the government' right? But when I did call, I got a really nice lady that walked me through the whole process in less than 30 minutes. They basically ask you the questions from the forms (the forms are also available to fill out yourself and mail in. Forms link [cms.gov] , and instructions link [cms.gov] )

I have a family of 4 and we'll end up paying $74.00 per month for Blue Cross Silver plan. It's better than what I have right now through Blue Cross, and I've been paying $400 a month for it.

Re:Don't use the website (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626553)

> I have a family of 4 and we'll end up paying $74.00 per month for Blue Cross Silver plan. It's better than what I have right now through Blue Cross, and I've been paying $400 a month for it.

Says the man who posts stuff such as:

"Just lie. There are no repercussions." [slashdot.org]

Seriously though, if you want to make your lies believable, don't go telling us you're getting a silver plan for a family of four for under a thousand dollars a year.

Re:Don't use the website (1, Interesting)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 8 months ago | (#45626789)

You posted as AC because...?

The "Just Lie" bit was a tongue-in-cheek swat at how the NSA lied to congress and nothing happened.

I'm paying less than a thousand dollars for insurance per year. This doesn't include dental (I have a dentist buddy that does work for free) however, and my 2 children are going to be on medicaid (free). So the plan is really just for my wife and I. No lie, we're broke and the government has set things up to where rich folks are paying for the medical insurance of the poor.

Re:Don't use the website (3, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | about 8 months ago | (#45627753)

OK, you're a "winner" in the health care insurance lottery, congratulations. But realize that the rest of us are the "losers" who are paying not just the cost of our health insurance, but part of yours, too.

Re:Don't use the website (0)

femtobyte (710429) | about 8 months ago | (#45628115)

If you're so angry about the "winners" getting it so good, then you could easily become a "winner" too --- just go unemployed and go broke. Easy-peasy! Wait, you wouldn't want to do that? You wouldn't want to trade your comfortable life for the "easy time" of being unemployed and impoverished? Then shut up complaining about "losing" --- the vast majority of "winners" would probably be overjoyed to exchange their "winning" for your "losing" situation.

Expensive (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 8 months ago | (#45626507)

I was thinking of changing my Major Medical plan, because it is getting expensive. It has literally doubled in price in the last three years. I went to ehealthinsurance.com, which is where I normally shop for insurance. I found that the cheapest premium is about the same as I am paying now, meaning that insurance rates really have gone up by 100% in the last three years. Probably due to some sort of new legislation.
Even worse, I was comparing if my plan started now. If I started a new plan in 2014, the lowest cost plan is 50% MORE than I am paying now. That would mean that insurance rates have tripled in three years.
My company just switched insurance plans to a much more expensive plan for the full family option. It is more than $1,300 a month. I won't be participating, of course, since much cheaper plans are available individually. I wonder if my employer gets their kickback per individual, or is it just for signing up the company? If it is per individual, I will probably expect some retribution for not using the plan.
Anyway, I question how some of the lower paid full timers can afford this. After the cost of the insurance plan, dental and FICA, they are probably only going to be taking home a few hundred dollars a month at best.

Re:Expensive (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 8 months ago | (#45627695)

In theory they don't have to put up with a $1,300 a month premium. That's $15,600 a year, which means that as long as they make less then $164k and change the premium is more then 9.5% of their income, which means they are supposed to buying plans on healthcare.gov. They'd even get the subsidy available to those making less then 400% of poverty-level.

I suspect that in practice your company has another, cheap-ass shitty plan option that your lesser-paid coworkers are supposed to use.

Totally worthless anyways: I won't buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626521)

After FINALLY completely the application after deleting and restarting again and again I finally got to the point where I was given some quotes.

And they were off the wall. The prices per month for what I had were more than $200-$400 a MONTH MORE than what I was paying and
with the hidden costs of deductions, formularies, etc. I just won't have any insurance.

Re: Totally worthless anyways: I won't buy (1)

JWW (79176) | about 8 months ago | (#45626911)

I think one of the big issues that will be coming forward due to Obamacare is that the definition if rich is going to change. Obama has always said the rich are going to "pay their fair share" for healthcare so the poor can be covered.

It's just that a lot of people who don't think they're rich at all are finding out that Obama thinks they are and he is making them pay.

Republicans are in tough situation. (1, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45626621)

Despite all the glitches, and blotched roll out, persistent technical difficulties, constant negative news from every source, there is still fundamental support for ACA. "Keep it or Expand it" even more people out number the "cut back or repeal" people.

The root cause of the problem is that Republicans dominate very small states with very large percentage of poor people. For example South Carolina had about 150K people already eligible for medicaid but were unaware of it. Even though the Republicans refused to expand medicare, the medicare rolls are expected to swell by 150K, because they are just finding out that they are actually eligible, and if they don't enroll for free healthcare, they would end up paying a fine! There are another 350K people who would know that they are within 400% of the poverty level, eligible for subsidies, and the Governor refused to give them access to that money. The hospitals and providers are going to lose about a billion dollars of federal money. Romney won that state by a margin of 2.2%. NC has 4.7 million registered voters, Romney's margin in raw votes is just 100K. If the potential loss of medical coverage or the possibility of getting subsidy impels a fraction of this 500K who are not already voting Democrat to register to vote, or actually show up to vote or switch from R to D, that would be disastrous to the Republicans.

If a dilettante like me crunches numbers like this, the politicians have at least semi or deci Nate Silvers in their pay roll. They know what is coming down the pike. Sure you could decry it as a simple vote getting ploy by the Democrats. And you could rail about the unfunded expansion and the effect it is going to have in the deficits etc etc. You could shout till cow comes home, "if people vote themselves benefits without worrying about the costs, Democracy will die". But if Republicans do not find a way to pacify that section of the population, none of these intellectual arguments are going to sway the people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Re:Republicans are in tough situation. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626727)

It is true the Republicans do have a job on their hands trying to raise votes by "not purchasing them with other peoples money".

Re:Republicans are in tough situation. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45626903)

Yes, Americans used to be very self reliant and eschew public assistance and it was considered to be a taboo to take in government assistance. You see, for the last 30 years both Republicans with ample aiding and abetting from the Democrats, have systematically transferred income and wealth from people who spend 90% to 100% of their income to people who save/invest 90% to 99% of their income.

The result is too much of capital, and people have been cutting back on consumption. The "fix" we have been pushing for the last 30 years is to reduce the interest rate. People facing loss of income (after adjusting for inflation) made up for the loss by borrowing. But eventually that ran out of steam as debt service load increased and people maxed out their borrowing ability. The low interest rate also allowed corporations to borrow cheaply and distort the market leading bubble after bubble. Now we have capital markets sloshing around with 2 trillion dollars of excess cash they don't know what to do with. Now these jokers are wondering why we are on the verge of deflation, why there is no improvement in economic activity.

We need to realize the rich people are NOT the job creators. Calling them job creators is as idiotic as calling the hamburgers hunger creators. It is because of the hunger of the people the hamburger gets created. Hunger is the cause, and the hamburger is the effect. It is the need for goods and services, the consumption by ordinary people, that creates jobs. Need is the cause, jobs are the effect. If you systematically drain their income, systematically tax physical labor income at twice the rate of investment income, you are distorting the fundamentals of the economy.

We have to tax the investment income at the same rate as earned income, spend the tax dollars within USA, realize every dollar spent by the government is a dollar earned by someone, make sure these expenditures end up in the pockets of people who would spend the money, not put it back in treasury bonds, and we would revitalize this country and this economy. We have to reserve a well deserved place for trickle-down-economics and other such failed economic policies right next to Communism in the garbage dump of history.

Re:Republicans are in tough situation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45627775)

Yes, Americans used to be very self reliant and eschew public assistance and it was considered to be a taboo to take in government assistance.

Sure, when the government didn't offer much assistance, "People didn't want it anyway."

Then bad shit happened and we really had no choice. And now we have it.

Amazing.

In hindsight, they could have ... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#45626741)

In hindsight, the biggest mistake Obama did was not doing the subsidy eligibility work before Oct 1. They could have rolled out the subsidy, income verification and identify verification etc way before Oct 1. They only thing that has to wait for Oct 1 was the actual plans, their prices and their provider directory. If they had done that they Oct 1 will simply be a window shopping comparison site. With eligibility certificate in hand, they would not be affected by the sticker shock. So the web site would have played its original role: be a simple window shopping and referral service. Subsidy and eligibility would have been a different separate part, with longer baking in period and testing period. They screwed by not doing that.

This also would have given a lot of supporters with subsidy eligibility certificate in hand, willing to contact their senators and representatives asking them to support ACA. This is a grave and stupid political mistake by the Democrats. And they are paying the price for it.

But in the long run, people already having medical coverage through employer or through medicare would not change their vote because of ACA. Democrats would continue to support it, probably bemoaning not implementing single payer or public option. Republicans won't gain too many votes from that group. But from the 40 million people without health care, people eligible for medicare and people below 400% of poverty level (that is nearly 90K AGI for a family of four) eligible for subsidies, there is going to be solid vote gain for Democrats. And most of it will happen in solidly red states because they have the largest percentage of poor people.

errors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45626879)

I cannot complete the online application. I even tried deleting the incomplete application and created a new one. I still receive an error before I input my household income. Ugg.

Healthcare.gov is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45627229)

Who cares....??? Healthcare.gov is like Katty Perry or Britney spears...... sheeple feedings

It's bad management. Not a software story.

I have a better solution than running into this (-1, Flamebait)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 8 months ago | (#45627345)

Opt out of Obamacare entirely. Don't apply for it and don't pay the fine and set up your taxation such that there's no refund for them to snag.

Re:I have a better solution than running into this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45628375)

no refund for them to snag.

Uhh...you do realize that "them" is the IRS, right? You seriously don't think that the ability for the IRS to extract money from you is limited to what you overpay in taxes, do you?

The reason for the errors is obvious (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 8 months ago | (#45627409)

You'd have to be a complete doofus to use that site. Don't give your personal and private information to a site that has zero security.

25% is very conserative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45627943)

Yes, I see the data flowing between a plan and the .gov site.
The web services fail hundreds of times a day to this site. We now ignore the errors from the site and consider the broken.
I believe that the applications coming through with errors are greater than 33%, probably closer to 35%. Some might be user entry issues not the vast majority.
The weekend before go live for .gov they were providing new certs and end points. Just in time infrastructure provisioning was in full force.
While Dave Kennedy might be a bit of a media whore, he is a respected security consultant. If he says it is vulnerable then it is probably chock full of holes. Passing a CMS audit is a freaking nightmare, figure 30 plus full time resources to pass a 912 audit for just the infrastructure and non externally facing websites. CMS would never have let this go live for a private firm.

The website is just the first hurdle on this long journey to transform the current private health insurance model.

Yes, I posted as AC because I like my job!

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